Book launch: 'Portuguese in the East: A Cultural History of a Maritime Trading Empire'

Book launch: 'Portuguese in the East:  A Cultural History of a Maritime Trading Empire'
31 May 2017, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Woburn Room, G22, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Dr Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya , Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study

Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India in the late fifteenth century opened up new economic and cultural horizons for the Portuguese. Undertaken at the height of Portugal’s maritime influence, it helped to create an oceanic state ranging from the Cape of Good Hope to China. Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya charts the influences of the Portuguese in more than 50 Asian tongues. Luso-Asian influence became engrained in eastern cultures in subtle ways, such as the Portuguese oral traditions in folk literature, embedded in postcolonial Asian music and song.Portuguese cultural legacies are a lasting reminder of an unexpected outcome ofseaborne commerce.

‘Jayasuriya’s use of music and linguistic innovations as a source for the history of the Portuguese presence in Asia opens new paths for other historians … an important contribution.’ -João Vicente Melo, Journal for Maritime Research 

‘Aseminal study of significant value… History,Anthropology and Linguistics come together to provide a multifaceted picture of the Portuguese imprint in the East.’ -Manuela Cook, International Journal of Ethnic & Social Studies

‘A valuable contribution to the study of Portuguese Asia.’ -John Villiers, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 

SHIHAN DE SILVA JAYASURIYA is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London; a former Research Associate in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at King’s College London; and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. She is the author of five other books: Tagus to Taprobane: Portuguese Impact on the Socioculture of Sri Lanka from 1505AD, An Anthology of Indo-Portuguese Verse, Indo-Portuguese of Ceylon,African Identity in Asia: Cultural Effects of Forced Migration and African Diaspora in Asian Trade Routes and Cultural Memories. 

Special Offer Price £17.50 (RRP £25.00) Paperback | 232 pages | 216 x 134 mm | 9781784539160 | April 2017 Offer expires 30th September 2017 

To order online go to and enter the discount codeAN2 when prompted 
Entrance free. RSVP to if attending.


This launch is followed by a concert of Luso-Asian music and a wine reception. 


Olga Jimenez
020 7862 8871